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The Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company in Branchville Connecticut (CT)  

Special Thank you to Hank Waldrop for forwarding this information.

About Bridgeport Wood Finishing Co:

From New Milford Gazette October 16, 1891.

The Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company’s Business Increasing.

While in many lines of trade during the past year dull times have been experienced and much complaining, in an interview with the Bridgeport Wood Finishing company we find that they have not only been busy during the ordinary busy seasons but they have been crowded with orders during the entire year, and have even had as much as they could do through the dull summer months in furnishing manufacturers with their celebrated brand of Wheeler’s Wood Filler as well as their other kindred specialties, such as wood stains and dyes, dryers and japans and Breinig’s lithogen Silicate paint. The continued and increased demand on their works, says Building, has caused them from time to time to enlarge the capacity of the same. The works, however, located at New Milford, Ct., in conjunction with their New York storehouse and office at 210 Pearl street, corner Burling slip as well as their Chicago warehouse, 211 East Randolph street, still proving inadequate to meet all the demands made upon them, they have purchased additional facilities in the way of a large silex mill located at Branchville, Ct. They hope now, with this additional establishment, to be able at least for some time in the future to fill their orders more promptly than ever in the past.

Among the new articles that they are continually bringing out we notice their English oak oil stains. For a long time back they have been largely furnishing the trade with what is known as their English Oak Water Stains. These have been very popular, but they have repeated calls by the trade to furnish them with an article that will not raise the grain of the wood and cause so much trouble in getting a finish as a water stain naturally does. This was, however, no small task; after months of patient endeavor, however, they have at last succeeded in making an oil stain with which now a result similar to that obtained by the former water stain may be obtained with less labor and with fewer coats of varnish. They have here and there distributed some samples of this article, and from all sides have received encouragement; in fact they say they have had such a demand for the article that it has been difficult to supply it as rapidly as they would like.

However, their action in buying the additional large works we have before alluded to, has shown they do not propose to allow anything to stand in the way of their promptly filling all demands made upon them.

The products of the Bridgeport Wood Finishing company are distributed almost in every portion of the United States as well as largely exported. A great deal of their business is done through agents, though a large portion of it is done by correspondence through their own office at New Milford, Ct. They will cheerfully furnish any information in regard to finishing hard wood, staining, etc., and any mail addressed to them will receive prompt attention.—Weekly Record of New Haven.

View Chicago World's Fair Piece on BWFC.

From Two Centuries of New Milford, Connecticut 1707-1907, The Grafton Press, 1907, p. 91.

1907: The Past and Present- Activities of New Milford in Later Years

George B. Calhoun contributes the following concerning one of the large industries of the town, the Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company:

“This company was incorporated in Bridgeport, Conn., on October 7, 1876, with a silex manufacturing plant at Fort Ann, N. Y. In 1881 the company removed to its present location at Still River, and erected there a large silex, filler and paint, and japan and varnish plant. The principal portion of this plant was destroyed by fire in February, 1902, and was rebuilt with better facilities for meeting its business requirements. The products of the company are ground silex and feldspar, Wheeler’s Patent Wood Filler, Breinig’s Lithogen Silicate Paint, Breinig’s Water and Oil Stains, Japans, Varnishes, etc. The business of the company has steadily increased in volume from year to year, and its products now have a world-wide reputation, so that, at the present time, agencies have been established in all the principal cities of the United States and Canada, as well as in Porto Rico, South America, and the principal European cities. With an auxiliary silex manufacturing plant at Branchville, Conn., and branch offices and warehouses in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago, the company is well equipped to care for its largely increasing interests at home and abroad. The officers of the company are: David E. Breinig, president and general manager; Edward E. Porter, vice-president; George B. Calhoun, secretary; Henry S. Mygatt, treasurer.”

1927: The End of Old Industry
Directors Vote To Close Still River Mill
ONCE A BUSY SHOP: Breinig’s Paints Well Known Even Now—Lithowhite Silex Co. Recently Sold Plant to Power Company

A special meeting of the stockholders of the Lithowhite Silex Company, will be held at the company office at Still River, Friday, May 27, at 11:30 a. m. The board of directors at a meeting held April 26 voted for the dissolution of the company. The property at Still River was sold to the Connecticut Light & Power company a few months ago. The coming meeting is for the purpose of taking action on the vote of the directorate.

The Bridgeport Wood Finishing Company, by which title the company was known until its sale in 1917 to the E. I. DuPont Nemours Company, was incorporated in 1876. The company’s products were marketed all over the world and for more than forty years the plant at Still River furnished employment for many local men.

G. M. Breinig was one of the men responsible for the growth of the company. He was born in Philadelphia in 1853 the son of Dr. David E. and Sophia Breinig. Dr. Breinig abandoned his medical practice in 1855 and with his brother, Jacob Breinig started a paint factory in Philadelphia. Later the business was established in Allentown, Pa., where it is still continued.

The Breinigs were members of old Pennsylvania families and the name is perpetuated in that state, Breinigville being the name of a community near Allentown.

In 1864 Dr. Breinig went to New York and became associated with Nathaniel Wheeler, sewing machine manufacturer and a partner in the Wheeler & Wilson company of Bridgeport. Mr. Wheeler held patents on wood fillers. Wheeler’s Patent Woodfiller was one of the products widely advertised by the B. W. F. Company, the organization of which resulted from the association of Dr. Breinig and Mr. Wheeler.

G. M. Breinig went into the business and succeeded his father as general manager in 1884. The factories of the company were at Still River, New Milford and Branchville, CT.

A special meeting of the stockholders of the company was held November 27, 1917. At that time it was voted to accept an offer made by the DuPont Nemours Company, Inc., of Wilmington, Del., whereby the DuPont interests were to purchase the paint and wood finishing business of the local concern, the purchase to be as of December 1, 1917.

The former business of the B. W. F. was thereafter operated as a division of the DuPont company. [NOTE: For several years Du Pont continued to market the paint and wood finishing products under the same brand of “Bridgeport Standard,” but manufactured them at the former Harrison Brothers Paint Works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By 1921 the “Bridgeport Standard” line was phased out.--Hank Waldrop] The corporate body of the local concern remained the same but the name was changed to the Lithowhite Silex Company, and water power holdings of the B. W. F. were retained until a few months ago.

The products of the old company were leaders with the trade. Many local young men served the company and gained the experience which later led to important connections with other concerns. The industry was one of the strongest locally for many years. It was a good thing for the community and the men employed there were well satisfied with their positions. Disastrous fires were responsible for huge losses to the owners at different times.

During the past few years the operation of the Lithowhite Silex Company has not been a paying venture. It was this condition that led to the acceptance of the offer of the Connecticut Light & Power Company recently, whereby the holdings of the company were sold for a sum approximating $240,000.

Noonday in New Milford a few years ago was marked by whistle blasts at several factories. One by one these harbingers of industry have gone until now very few remain. As a matter of sentiment and memory of old associations, if for no other reason, many will regret the disintegration of the old business founded by the Breinig's.

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